Tractor pulls are about as old-school and truck-centric as one can get. On the other hand, electric trucks are still in the process of gaining widespread approval from the community. To find out just how capable the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning really are when put to the test, Edmunds decided to take their own to a good ol’fashioned tractor pull. The results might surprise you.
It’s worth noting that Edmunds actually owns each of these trucks for long-term testing. To that end, they didn’t need either automaker’s approval for the event. Evidently, Ford specifically said it couldn’t give Edmunds its blessing for this test. With that in mind, let’s get to some of the important statistics surrounding this head-to-head.
The R1T uses a motor at each wheel to generate 835 hp (622 kW) and 908 lb-ft (1,229 Nm) of torque. It tips the scales at 7,150 pounds and has a maximum towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. The F-150 Lighting can tow up to 10,000 pounds, weighs in at 6,745 pounds, and uses two motors in total. Combined, they generate 580 hp (432 kW) and 775 ft-lbs (1,049 Nm) of torque.
Read: Rivian Removes Powered Tonneau Cover Option On R1T Pickup Truck Indefinitely
Anybody familiar with tractor pulls might already know that those specs mean that the Rivian has a few advantages. Beyond the obvious power and torque increases, additional weight actually improves the truck’s ability to fight against the sled it’ll be towing. In fact, these trucks both weigh so much that there isn’t technically a class for them in the world of tractor-pulls.
To that end, the Rivian does a better job every single time down the lane. It outpulls the Ford in three separate runs, two dry practice runs during mid-day testing and then one more time during the actual tractor pull show. While it’s hard to compare them to any of the other trucks in the competition due to weight and modification regulations, they seem competitive.
The Ford pulled the sled 231 ft (70 m) while the R1T went 246 ft (74.9 m). Moreover, neither truck experienced any sort of malfunction or failure and neither one had significant battery loss or range drop. That’s especially significant considering that the sled weighs some 300 percent more than these trucks’ maximum towing capacity.